Monday, April 30, 2007

Heroes, Chapter 20: Five Years Gone
Another awesome ep. There was some speculation in the comments to last week’s post that maybe season 2 of Heroes will take place in the apocalyptic future. Whether or not that happens, in this episode we got a glimpse of that future, and it wasn’t pretty. Everyone has changed. NY has blown to bits, and the bomb was blamed on Sylar. He was labeled a mutant terrorist, bringing all of the other heroes out of the closet and making them feared and hated. Now the heroes live in fear (the ones who are still alive, that is), those who ally with them have moved underground, and the world is looking for a way to eradicate them. It’s a combination of 9/11 and the Holocaust.

Future Hiro: He’s a hardened badass, cold, unemotional, and almost none of the sweet, cherub-like optimism still remains. He saw his best friend Ando die and became obsessed with changing the past so he could save him. Now he’s become an underground terrorist and killer, who can wield a sword like nobody’s business. Even the other heroes seem to fear and dislike him.

Peter: Remember when Future Hiro appears to Peter on the subway and says, “You look different without the scar”? In the future he has a scar that bisects his face, like Omar on The Wire. He’s rather Neo-like: same long black trenchcoat, same ambivalence while killing, same wooden acting delivery… He’s dating Niki, and is the real reason behind the NY bomb.

Jessica: Dead.

DL: Dead; killed by Sylar, who’s apparently sucked his powers.

Micah: Dead.

Niki: Alive, so just the Jessica half is gone, but losing the previous two people has turned her into more Jessica than Niki. She’s a stripper (so some things are the same) who performs under the name Jessica as if to punish herself, and she’s cold cold cold.

Claire: Working at the same diner where Charley was killed, she’s engaged, seemingly happy, but she has clandestine visits with Bennet, who comes in as a customer and whispers warnings to her. She goes to see Daddy and realizes he’s not who she thought he was. Now… dead.

Bennet: He’s working to help the heroes go underground and stay safe. He’s still in touch with Claire, and still seems to be putting her before anything, and just wants her to be safe. His wife has left him. However, if he detects a possible dangerous one (i.e. a Sylar) he’ll turn them over to Matt, who in turn brings the harmless ones to him.

Nathan: He’s the pres— oh. Dead.

Mohinder: He’s added a beard. And he’s still as inefficient and loserlike as he always was. I wonder how much of his blubbering and guilt is due to the fact that if Future Hiro would just follow that one string backwards a little further, he’d see a more obvious chance for Mohinder to have killed Sylar. Oh wait, he would have found TWO chances. Sadly, Mohinder survived the bomb. He willingly serves the president.

Matt: He’s part of Homeland Security, which has become a “hunt down the terrorist” unit. Bennet has helped send his wife and son underground, but turns on Bennet when he thinks he had something to do with two Hiros, and kills him. Then he brings back Claire and hands her over to the person who will kill her. Nice one, Matt.

Haitian: Seems to be working for the wrong side, i.e. Matt, and is killed by Mohinder to save Present Hiro.

Candice the shapeshifter illusionist: Dead, and Sylar has sucked her powers.

Sylar: EVIL. He’s killed Nathan, and is now posing in his place as the President of the United States (his speech was almost a replica of the proceedings on September 11, 2006). The leader of the free world is evil incarnate. He is continuing to kill the heroes and sucking their powers, because they’re completely unsuspecting. He’s developed a drug that will wipe out all of the heroes.

When Present Hiro and Ando leave the future, it looks like Peter and Sylar are going to create a second apocalypse (as Riley said on Buffy, “What’s the plural of apocalypse?”); Mohinder is going to be killed in the crossfire; Future Hiro is dead; Niki has broken up with Peter and will probably destroy herself; Matt has gone to the dark side; the Haitian is dead; Claire is dead; Bennet is dead… it can only get better.

Let’s just hope Hiro didn’t just accidentally time travel to 1974.


Brian Douglas said...

Just as last week's episode invoked Watchmen, this one is an obvious reference to another clasic comic story, Days of Future Past.

Oh, and Candise is a definately an illusionist.

My question, if Claire is alive in this future, that means Peter saved her from Sylar. But in that case, then he absorbed her healing power. So how come he's got a scar then?

Sylar displayed his seldom used freezing power in the fight with Peter. We haven't seen that since Matt and Audrey were chasing him.

Roland said...

Very intense and enjoyable episode. Some might say too intense given the 9/11 references. However, it was interesting to see how past and present were intertwined, I'm not sure I completely understand changing the past with Peter/Sylar blowing up. Seems like Sylar is so powerful anyways, he has already eaten up so many powers, it almost makes him indestructible.

I hope that the second season does not exist post apocalypse. I like the lighter side of Heroes as well!

Colleen/redeem147 said...

So, it's all a 9/11 metaphor, with the crazy right taking over after a NY disaster.

Killing Sylar won't help, though, will it? Because he didn't explode. Peter did.

So, does Hiro actually have to kill Peter?

I think I'd enjoy this show more if I hadn't read so many comic books. But still, a very enjoyable series.

Anyone enjoying Nathan (and especially Sylar/Nathan) needs to pick up Profit on DVD. Actually, pick it up anyway. Great Fox-cancelled series.

fb said...

i don't understand. if peter truly exploded when the bomb went off, then how can he be in vegas? what am i missing??

Anonymous said...

my thought is that even if sylar is killed, the bomb will still go off, because sylar never had anything to do with that anyway. but without sylar in the picture, i don't think the negativity surrounding the heroes will exist, because nathan will be president, not sylar-as-nathan. can't wait to see how the season ends...since zachary quinto is credited as a guest star, it's my guess that his storyline will end with the season.

Brian Douglas said...

Zach Quinto has done such an amazing job as Sylar, I'd hate to see him leave the show.

Nikki Stafford said...

Brian: Is an illusionist like David Copperfield? (I love messin' with ya...) ;)

Wow, GREAT observation on the scar, I never thought of that! He shouldn't have a mark on him if he can heal.

Roland/Colleen/fb: I was confused on the whole how does killing Sylar stop the bomb scenario, too. I'm sure it'll be explained in upcoming episodes. I wonder if Sylar kills Ted and absorbs his powers, and then he meets Peter, who adopts HIS powers, and that's how Peter blows up. You kill Sylar, Peter never comes into contact with Ted, you avoid the bomb. That's just one idea, but I'm hoping we'll find out.

I would honestly hate to see Sylar be killed. He's the ultimate enemy, and Zachary Quinto is SO awesome. I can't imagine how they'd up the ante in season 2 if they take out Sylar.

Colleen: A friend of mine lent me Profit and I can't wait to watch it.

fb: Good question about Vegas. Presumably he blew up, but could simultaneously heal himself through Claire's powers?

Brian Douglas said...

Time Travel 101

Current science says that it isn't, but then science once said that supersonics jets and cell phones were imposible. For the purposes of this post, I will assume time travel is posible.

Now there are two schools of thought on this: the single universe theory and the multiverse theory.

The single universe theory says there is one timeline. If Hiro goes back to the past to change an event, he will either fail or in an ironic twist of fate, be the cause of the event in question. This reason behind this is simple. There is one past, in which Hiro arived. The fact that said event happened means Hiro failed.

The second theory is a multiverse theory, in which paralel universes exist. In this theory, Hiro can go back in time and change an event, but doing so creates a a scond timeline and does not result in the elimination of the Hiro's original timeline. So in this case, Hiro will also unable alter his future.

A variation on this has their being a fixed number of parellel timelines, and Hiro would travel back and arive in a second timeline (and not the past of his timeline). In this case, he can influence events in the second timeline, but his original timeline will once again remain unchanged.

Now even if Hiro could change his timeline, he would still be killing 6 billion people. Our experience shape who we are, and by eliminating the last 5 years, he will essentially be killing everyone on the planet. Yes, there would still be a Peter Petrelli, but it wouldn't be the same Peter Petrelli.

Now putting aside the ethics, could Hiro alter the course of history by changing key events? There are two schools of thoughts on this. Future Hiro seems to believe in the butterfly effect, that changing a single event can cause dramatic events (save the cheerleader, save the world). Another school believes that the course of history is far less mutable. For instance, if Hiro were to go back and kill Adolph Hitler as a baby, World War II would still happen as someone else takes the lead in his place. The details more change, but the end result is the same. This is what the writers at Lost are doing with Charlie, although taking it to a more extereme, Final Destination-esque case.

Brian Douglas said...

Nikki: in a matter of speaking. Only she can do with his mind what David Copperfield does with sleight of hands and tricks. Now the question remains, is she creating hollograms by bending light or altering peoples perception by directly influencing their minds? Both kinds have appeared in comics (i.e. Dazzler and Mastermind respectively).

Considering Sylar was able to pose as the president, it's a safe bet that someone took a picture of him. If he was influencing perceptions of him, it wouldn't show on film. So it must be the hollogram theory.

Either that, or bad writing. Or Candice/Sylar is extremely powerful enough to influence people worldwide, and able to distinguish when people are looking at him or "Nathan" (if not, then when the showed a picture of Sylar on the news, everyone would have seen Nathan instead).

Well, that's enough from the resident comics/physics geek :-)

Anonymous said...

The hardest thing about living alone is that there isn't anyone to poke when you have an aha moment, followed a half hr later by the I KNEW IT moment. Nathan is Sylar in diguise.

The episode was one of the best.
My biggest question was when in the past five years did Sylar kill Nathan?
Followed by how did Nikki and Peter get together?
And what was up with the Haitian?

Can't wait for the next few episodes!
Katherine T

fb said...

see, nikki, i was having this discussion with my friend S (the one you met in NYC in december) today -- i said i didn't understand how peter could be alive if he was blowed up real good when the bomb went off, and she seemed to think it was a no-brainer, and that he just regenerated, thanks to clare's powers.

okay ... except ... that seems like a total cop-out to me. i can buy peter/clare/whomever regenerating after being shot or stabbed or any other injury where the body essentially stays intact. but to gather all the millions and millions of itsy bitsy pieces created after a, you know, BOMB goes off? and reassemble it all back into a normal person? it just seems very far-fetched and stretching the limits of credibility and suspension of disbelief. if that's the case, and peter knew he could just regenerate even if he *was* the bomb (haha -- i meant literally, but figuratively, too!) it sort of takes away from the urgency of trying to stop him exploding (other than the millions of people dying, obviously -- what i'm saying is, his "death", which was hinted at all season long if he did, indeed, blow up, seems moot in light of this).

Brian Douglas said...

fb: you may be taking the blowing up part to literally. Just because Peter generates the blast doesn't mean he is harmed by it. Ted seems to be immune to his power (else he would have suffered radiation poisoning by now), and if Peter copied his power and went nuclear, he would not be harmed in the blast. Many characters in comics are immune to their powers (like Cyclops of the X-Men for instance).

Alternately, Peter could convert his body into the energy of blast, and reform his humanoid shape. This is how the original exploding man, Nitro the Exploding Man, does it. Nitro is best known for killing the original Captain Marvel (the Marvel one, not the DC one) and more recently nuking the town of Stanford and setting off Marvel's Civil War, in which the superheroes are forced to take sides in a war against those superhero's who register with the government and those who refuse to, and are hauled to a secret prison. Hmmm, exploding man, the government hauling superhumans to secret prisons, heroes forced to take sides against other heroes--that sounds awefully familiar for some reason.

Brian Douglas said...

Also, Wolverine has regenerated from just his skeleton after the rest of his body was burned away (by the aforementioned Nitro), although I don't think Peter's skeleton is made of an indestructable metal.

The Chapatikid said...

Is it really important whether Candice is an illusionist or a shape-shifter? Can we just accept that she can make herself look like other people? Or is that wrong of me to say that? It is a fantasy-comic world after all. Does it all have to be explained by light refraction? When we were kids, did we go to our physics books to find out how Superman could see through things? Or fly in the sky? Just asking...

Brilliant episode. Again. Loving Peter's scar. I agree, I don't think Peter actually gets harmed by the bomb, but I think Sylar definitely has SOME role to play in the fallout, which is why it is imperative to kill him. I think he kills Ted and absorbs his powers, and in a face off (like the one we saw), Peter goes off. Or maybe Sylar, but people think it's Peter because he was unconscious. Either way, I think there's going to be an end of season shakedown between P and S. As well as an end of season breakdown with Peter and Nathan.

And finally, why does Matt Parkman become bad? And Mohinder is still faffling. At least he's still good. He sort of reminds of the stereotypical gullible professor (but unstereotypically hot) like Professor Calculus in TinTin, who's always getting into trouble and needs to be saved by the hero(es) over and over again. But has valuable information to provide so they can't quite kill off the character or let him die.

Brian Douglas said...

The Chapatikid: Well, I did open my physics book, but that's me. But then again there have been several science of superhero books publsihed, so it must be more than just me.

It's important in defining what Candice can and cannot do. As an illusionist (and in case you missed it, she was referenced as being an illusionist not once but twice during this episode), she can do more than just alter her appearance. She alter the environment and say, hide dead bodies from snooping police offers. We've only really seen the tip of her potential with these powers.

Nikki Stafford said...

fb: Really good points on Peter blowing to bits. I remember waaaay back in the episode where Claire stuck her hand down the garburetor and then pulled out her mangled fingers, which healed, I remember thinking, "But what if it had pulled her fingers off completely? Would she regrow new ones?"

In Peter's case, though, we have to remember Ted. In the episode where we saw him go apeshit on Bennet's house, Ted stayed pretty much intact. His face began peeling away and he was getting radiation poisoning, but he wasn't blowing up. I wonder if by "bomb" they aren't necessarily refer to something that goes kapow and explodes shrapnel everywhere (or in the case of a human body, human bits everywhere) but something that just shoots radiation out in a much bigger way than Ted could do. It's like Peter is uberTed.

Katherine T: I think, presumably, Sylar killed Nathan right before the election (or right after, or during, but it was definitely in that time frame) so by the time the Peter Bomb went off the following day (if Linderman's calculation is correct) he wouldn't have helped him. It's why, way back in Peter's dream in mid-season, he pictured Nathan just standing there not doing anything. Nathan was already Sylar at that point.

Brian Douglas said...

I have to disagree, Nikki.

Sylar said he used Candice's illusion to become president. In order to do so, he would need to kill Candice. But Candice we know, was turned over to Bennet by Hiro, who turn turned her over to Parkman, and was then killed by Sylar. This all happens after the explosion.

Also, Nathan is not currently running for president (they have stated that he is running for Congress). He will presumably be elected president in '08.